I'm a 17yr old girl, and I love my mother I really truly honestly do. I want to make her happy, I get all A's and B's in school, I want to go to a good college a graduate so she can be proud of me, I've had my first job for about 5 months now, and they only pay me $80 a week and I swear I spend almost all of what I make buying her nice things because I feel like I owe it her for all of what she's done for me.
But, I don’t respect her anymore. There are a lot of reasons why, she’s an alcoholic, she smokes weed, and she goes back and forth between men like it’s nothing. There’s some man here now that I’ve never met in her room with her.
I understand that she is an adult and can do as she pleases but she’s my mom and it’s hard to see her this way because she wasn’t always like this. Its been going on for about 3 years now. The alcohol was and still is my main problem. She never hits me or anything; I’m more just concerned for her health and safety. She drinks all day and takes bottles to her room at night, drinking with sleeping pills because she claims she can’t sleep. I’m afraid to get in the car with her half the time, because one night we went to her friends had been drinking and on our way back home she started driving on the wrong side of the road. That was it with the drinking for me, I went home that night and I poured her bottle of vodka out. She was mad when she found out and grounded me but I didn’t care, she could have not only hurt us that night but she could have really hurt other people. I tried to reach out to her many other times about the drinking, I’ve talked to her, and I’ve written her letters. And she always promises to try to stop, but a few weeks later its back to her old ways again.
The smoking and the men, I don’t even really know what to say about that. There are stories I could tell but I’ve already made this long enough. It just makes me feel like I’m the adult and she’s the teenager sometimes is all.
Like I said, I love my mom, I appreciate everything she’s given to and done for me. But she’s not my MOM anymore, she’s not the woman who used to take of me when I was sick or comfort me when I was sad. And I know I’m not a baby anymore, but that’s just it I’m not a baby I’m a young woman now, and my mom is supposed to be my role model, one of the people I can look up to and depend on and come to. She’s supposed to be there to show me what’s right and wrong. I have to go to school where half of my classmates come to school high, drunk or both and I’ve never done any of once, and my mom should be proud of that, telling me that it’s bad. But instead I come home to her doing it all herself. And I’m sick of sitting in my room every night like tonight crying over all of this.
It might not sound bad, but it is, there are too many stories of what I’ve been through with her the past few years that I didn’t write about because this is too long already. It’s just that every single day I lose more and more respect for her and I don’t know what to do anymore.
I completely hear what you're saying and before I start advising anyone- I like to tell them why I connect with their words. I'm 36 and had a similar relationship with my mother as you do. For a long time, I blamed her and her decisions in life for most of my social problems; she always put my alcoholic step-father before me, to the extent that my childhood was regularly disrupted by the consequences of their selfish choices. As a teenager, I suffered with a multitude of mental health problems and didn't start to live 'normally' until well in to my 30's. And even now, I have to accept that some of my issues will not be resolved. However- I'm also on the other side. I'm a mother who is not the best role model in the world and I have no doubt that when my son is an adult, he will have some of the same issues with me, as I have with my mother. The differences though, will be that I'll understand, acknowledge and at least, will try in some ways to make-up for my mistakes.
These-days, my relationship with my mother is better and mostly, because I stopped trying to please her and 'win' her love and started doing things for me. This is something I see you're doing- the getting good grades to please her, staying 'straight. Yet you have to do these things for YOU. Getting good grades and not bowing to peer pressure (when it comes to the drugs & alcohol) are decisions you made, because you're a good, intelligent, grounded person. Give yourself credit for that and don't look at it as something you're doing to please your mother.
However, you also have to acknowledge your mother's influence in the good decisions you've made. You've watched her destructive lifestyle and learned by it. Perhaps this deserves a little respect?
You no doubt love your mother and by the sounds of it, your mother loves you. You haven't mentioned physical/sexual abuse or neglect, but I know that living in a drug & alcohol household increases those factors. The fact that she promises to stop- on your say so- shows that she is listening to you. However, the demons that come from addiction are some of the hardest demons to beat and love doesn't come in to it. I love my son more than anything in the world, but marijuana was my best friend for a long time and even when I tried to break off the dope-relationship, it wooed me back time and again. So I speak from the heart when I say that love doesn't come in to it.
Like I said, I love my mom, I appreciate everything she’s given to and done
for me. But she’s not my MOM anymore, she’s not the woman who used to take of me
when I was sick or comfort me when I was sad. And I know I’m not a baby anymore,
but that’s just it I’m not a baby I’m a young woman now, and my mom is supposed
to be my role model, one of the people I can look up to and depend on and come
to. She’s supposed to be there to show me what’s right and wrong. I have to go
to school where half of my classmates come to school high, drunk or both and
I’ve never done any of once, and my mom should be proud of that, telling me that
it’s bad. But instead I come home to her doing it all herself. And I’m sick of
sitting in my room every night like tonight crying over all of this.
Like you said- You're a young woman now. So take heart and be your own role model. Finding out that our parents are flawed- or seeing the extent of their flaws- is always a big shock. Yet it kind of means that we have reached adulthood. The next step is to come to terms with them. No one is perfect, yet what makes our parents special is that their love to us and our love to them is unconditional. We can also show them our flaws and it doesn't matter.
I can understand that you want to help her and see her leading a healthy, fulfulling life. Yet that's her decision to make- no matter how much it impacts on you. You're a young woman and it's time for you to make you own way in life. You don't necessarily have to respect your mother's behaviour, but you can respect what she's done for you and the influences that have obviously turned you in to a sensible, intelligent young woman.
Good Luck and I hope that your mother-daughter relationship starts to turn around.